Summary: Exposition of Psalm 34 regarding a feast for the soul upon the most Satisfying thing in the universe.
Text: Psalm 34:8, Title: Taste Buds of the Soul, Date/Place: NRBC, 3/6/11, AM
1. Opening illustration: “the soul has a palate and a throat, else Jesus would not bid us to drink,” Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” –John 6:53, “Longed with intense desire after God; my whole soul seemed impatient to be conformed to him, and to become ‘holy, as He is holy.’ In the afternoon, prayed with a dear friend privately, and had the presence of God with us; our souls united together to reach after blessed immortality, to be unclothed of the body of sin and death, and t enter the blessed world, where no unclean thing enters. O, with that intense desire did our souls long for that blessed day, that we might be freed from sin, and forever live to and in our God!” –Brainerd, Friday, September 10, 1742
2. Background to passage: After David’s deliverance from Abimelech in Gath, He had experienced the goodness of God; and so in his declaration of praise surrounding that he encourages us all to taste and see that the Lord is good. Obviously he didn’t mean to physically taste God; he meant with the spiritual taste of the soul. And this is so important
3. Main thought: The Christian life is not simply made up of a few key theological truths and some rules for morality, it is a feast for the soul upon the most Satisfying thing in the universe
1. What does the word “taste” communicate to us about our walk with Christ? Let’s confine our thoughts to a “good” taste; it means to put something in your mouth and experience it. Food has texture and temperature that can make us happy or sad. It can satisfy us to the very core, even make us long for more. Taste has a way of making our inhibitions be reduced (just ask anyone who diets). Taste makes our mouth water, even with the aroma swirling around in the air. This is what David has in mind. That the Lord satisfies our soul like food satisfies our palate. Seems blasphemous, but really meditate on the point.
2. Ps 42:1-2, 63:1, 3, 73:25-26, 119:103,
3. Illustration: celery at the SS gathering the other day, walking into the Hershey chocolate factory or a coffee shop or near a real pit bbq place, “God is a big ol’ potato chip (potato chip, yeah) just one bite and I can’t quit, with French onion dip; peanut butter milkshake on the side, praisallujah brother, in His presence I’ll abide…”
4. The Christian life at its core is not a life of rules, habits, good deeds, buildings, budgets, crowds, fads, t-shirts, morality, church attendance, etc; it is a life of experiencing God. All these things may be good and fine in their place, but all for naught if we do not experience the Living God in our lives. Let me exhort you to taste the Lord, drink deeply of His living water, give in to the satisfaction of your spiritual thirst. God will make you happy, if you look for happiness in Him. After tasting Him, He will become the compulsion of the taste buds of our soul; He will become the fragrance that intensifies our longings; He will be the crunchy, chewy, smooth, spicy, (or whatever character of food you like) tender sweetness that captivates the hungry appetite of your soul.
1. Seeing is the proof, the experience that God is sweet to the taste. What does “seeing” do in our lives and in the kingdom? 1) Creates thirst/hunger and complete satisfaction (which brings joy) simultaneously. This is the great paradox of the Christian life: to have found Him and still be seeking Him. Chocolate, enough said. Christ gives you that “hhmmmmmm” feeling, and solidifies in your life a hunger to keep coming back to the table. 2) Creates a longing for home and the thing of home. Most of us operate in the “ready to go to heaven, but not eager” category, but those who taste the goodness of God, have a longing for being with Christ. The Christian life is not about missing hell (everyone wants that), but about being with and in love with Jesus Christ. This also creates a hunger/thirst/longing/desire for the things of the Kingdom of God here on earth. We are always struggling to do what we know to do, and would love to have the inner drive to follow Christ as we ought…taste and see! 3) And this defeats Christianity by constraint instead of by love and desire. We should operate in the Christian life, not as much out of guilt, as out of love. We shouldn’t feel forced, as much as we feel pleasure in pleasing. We should be motivated by intense desire rather than pressure to conform. Husband’s affection for a wife after bringing flowers, “It’s my duty.” 4) And begrudging obligation brings no glory to God (although willful self-discipline does), but desirous obedience brings glory to The Fountain of living water. This is because people see the joy that propels you, and ask why; and they can hear and know that your actions flow from the satisfaction that you have in God. And you beg them come and drink from the fountain that shall never run dry, and you will never thirst again without being filled and satisfied with pleasures forevermore coming from Him. And why would we not be satisfied with the most satisfying being in the universe? Taste and See! Taste and See! Taste and See!